Kembi, Irungu billboards battle goes to the courts

Mr Irungu Kang’ata, at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Mr Irungu Kang’ata, at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

The billboards war between Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura and Kiharu MP Irungu Kangata has now moved to court after the senator sued an advertising firm for allegedly pulling down his board and replacing it with that of his challenger.

But Mr Kang’ata argues that the senator already had three other banners yet he had one. Both are vying for the senate seat and the MP beat Mr Gitura during the Jubilee Party nominations.

Through lawyer Andrew Mura, the Senator said he engaged the advertising firm in February seeking to rent three billboards at Delmonte area, Kenol and the entry to Murang’a County.

The case was filed at the Milimani chief magistrate’s court under certificate of urgency.

Mr Gitura made partial payments of Sh300,000 on the agreed cost and the company mounted his billboards.

According to court documents, the company charged Mr Gitura Sh1,392,000 for three billboards and printing of one flexi.

The Senator indicated that on May 23 the company wrote to him declaring to remove one of the banners at Delmonte area.

He opposed the step but recently realised it had been pulled down and replaced with that of his rival. It was a breach of contract, the Senator said.

Mr Gitura, who is also the Senate deputy Speaker, said he got calls from supporters seeking to know if he had dropped out of the race.

“Such actions are in blatant violation of his rights under the evident contract between the parties,” the contender said through his lawyers.

The lawyer asked the court to issue permanent mandatory injunction against the company requiring the reinstatement of the billboard bearing the Senator’s image at Delmonte area.

He also sought general damages for what he said was a breach of the contract.

The lawyer told the court that the Senator, who is defending his seat as an independent candidate after losing to Mr Kang’ata in Jubilee nominations, will suffer irreparable damage unless the court intervenes.

Kenyans will vote on August 8 to pick the president, governors, senators, National Assembly MPs, and MCAs in what is expected to be a tough battle parly with the hotly contested primaries.

The case will be heard tomorrow.